Sexton, Rahlves outdistance field in Donner Lake Triathlon | SierraSun.com
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Sexton, Rahlves outdistance field in Donner Lake Triathlon

Greyson Howard/Sierra SunSteven Sexton, 27, nurses his bike down Old Highway 40 during the 29th annual Donner Lake Triathlon on Sunday. Sexton, who won the International triathlon for the third straight time, had to hold up his loose handlebars after they broke above Rainbow Bridge. He posted a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 12 seconds.
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DONNER LAKE andamp;#8212; Sunday dawned cool under a patchwork of clouds for the 7 a.m. start of the Donner Lake Triathlon.For the 800-plus triathletes who competed, it was a chill that would have been more welcome at the finish line of the 29th annual race. andamp;#8220;The weather was perfect at the start. That’s why we go fast, so we can finish before it gets to be (hot) out,andamp;#8221; said Eliot Drake of Reno, with sweat glistening in his Mohawk after he placed fifth overall in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 16 seconds.By that time the fluffy cloud cover had given way to mostly blue skies, and with it summer heat as international-distance triathletes streamed in to the finish area near the Summit Creek inlet.Steven Sexton didn’t seem to mind the warm weather, as the 27-year-old from Davis won his third consecutive Donner Lake Triathlon with a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 12 seconds. And that was after cautiously nursing his broken bike down Old Highway 40 to the bike-run transition.andamp;#8220;I was hoping not to have to run that hard, because I have a big race next week in Germany,andamp;#8221; said Sexton, who was wearing a Team USA triathlete jersey. andamp;#8220;But I had to defend, right?andamp;#8221;Sexton said his handlebars broke and flopped down toward his front tire as he approached the descent from Rainbow Bridge. He rode down the hill slowly while physically holding the loose handlebar in place.andamp;#8220;I lost a lot of time coming down the hill, so that was frustrating,andamp;#8221; said Sexton, who posted a winning time of 2:08:11 in 2007 andamp;#8212; the last year the race was held andamp;#8212; and a course record of 2:06:04 in 2006.Reno’s Scott Young, 43, finished second with a time of 2:15:48, and Michael Ingardia, 39, rounded out the top three in 2:16:02. The international distance consisted of a 0.9-mile swim, a 24.8-mile bike ride up Old 40 and back and a 6 1/2-mile run around Donner Lake.Truckee’s Shannon Rahlves andamp;#8212; a regular top finisher in the triathlon andamp;#8212; led the women’s field and finished 15th overall in 2:25:23.andamp;#8220;The race was good,andamp;#8221; Rahlves said after cooling off in the lake. andamp;#8220;The cloud cover was nice, because in the past you’ve always had the sun in your eyes during the swim.andamp;#8221;Fresh off his 21st birthday Saturday, Truckee Nordic skier Matt Gelso posted a seventh-place finish in 2:18:29. Like he did the last time he competed, he ran straight through the finish area and into the water for a cool-down.andamp;#8220;I feel better now that I’ve been in the lake,andamp;#8221; said Gelso, who will enter his senior season on the Nordic ski team at the University of Colorado this fall.andamp;#8220;I ran better than last time,andamp;#8221; Gelso continued, thinking back on his first Donner Lake Triathlon in 2007. andamp;#8220;I felt a lot better this year. I actually accelerated on the back side of the lake, instead of dying.andamp;#8221;

Michael Smith, 45, of Santa Barbara andamp;#8212; another Donner Lake Triathlon regular andamp;#8212; defended his 2007 Sprint title with a first-place finish in 39 minutes, 47 seconds. Daniel Weintraub finished second in 42:41, and Matt Genovese was third in 44:25.andamp;#8220;The sprint was kind of a breeze, other than the swim,andamp;#8221; said Elyah Gordon of Truckee, who, in his first-ever Donner Triathlon, finished 16th in 50:50. andamp;#8220;You could pretty much hammer every leg.andamp;#8221;The shorter-distance triathlon was made up of a quarter-mile swim, a 6-mile bike ride to Rainbow Bridge and back and a 2-mile run.

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